It is a matter of satisfaction to the Kuppuswami sashtri Research Institute that the endownment to commemorate the Birth Centenary of Prof. P.S. Subrahmanya Sashtri, a rare scholar equally proficient in Sanskrit and Tamil with pioneering and prolific contributions to his credit, is to be inaugurated shortly. The Institute is particularly delighted and privileged to organize the function for more than one reason. A younger contemporary and a student of Prof. Kuppuswami Sashtri in Alankara and Nyaya Sastras, Prof. P.S.S. Sastri, like his master, combined in himself the erudition of the Indian Sastrakaras of old with the historical and analytical bent of morden scholarship. Both the Sastri were closely associated in different academics capacities at Chennai, Tiruvaiyaru and Annamalai University. More importantly, the monumental contributions of Prof. P.S.S. Sastri on the text of Tolkappiyam, its historical and critical analysis and exposition, which established his place securely as the foremost interpreter of the ancient Tamil grammatical tradition, saw the light of the day , through the issues of the Journal of Oriental Research initiated by Prof. Kuppuswami Sastri in 1927. It was therefore quite in the fitness of things that Dr. P.S.S. Sastri was a member of the Research Committee of the K.S.R. Institute from its inception in 1944 until his death in 1978.
The History of Grammatical Theories in Tamil, now appearing as a reprint on the occasion, presents for the first time these early theories in a historical setting and critical examination of them in the light of the corresponding theories in Sanskrit grammatical literature. It is noteworthy that this material formed the subject of Prof. Sastri’ s post graduated dissertation at the University of Madras , and that it has aiso the credit of having been awarded the first Ph.D. degree in Tamil by this University . The study on the subject by Prof. Sastri was indeed a landmark in India and outside, on matters relating to the history of Tamil grammatical tradition. Naturally it was highly commended by philologists and linguists all over the world. There has been a great demand for this publication for many years though nearly six decades have passed. Even a few years back the Institute had to supply a xerox copy of the book to Dr. V.S. Rajam, at the University of Pennsyivania in U.S.A. for a project on the subject. I am sure that the modern facilities of computer and internet would continue to carry the rich materials treated with adequate scholarship by Prof. P.S.S. Sastri in all the nooks and corners of the globe again.
The Institute is most thankful to Dr. M.A.M. Ramaswami, Pro – Chancellor, Annamalai University, Chidambaram, for his generous donation that enabled it to republish the book. It also places on record its deep debt of gratitude to Dr. P.N. Natarajan, Prof. of Mathematics, Vivekananda College, Chennai and grandson of Dr. Sastri, for his efforts in creating this endowment.
Vignesha Printers is to be thanked for reprinting the work.
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